Lupine, 1927 (WAGL-230)

Feb. 7, 2021

Lupine, 1927

ex-General W. P. Randolph

A plant of the genus Lupijnus, with stalks of variously colored flowers.

Builder: Fabricated Shipbuilding Corporation and Coddington Engineering Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Length: 172'

Beam: 32'

Draft: 11' 6"

Displacement: 1,130 tons

Cost: $540,000; conversion cost was $55,481.50

Commissioned: 1919 (U.S. Army); 1927 (USLHS)

Decommissioned: 7 January 1947

Disposition: Sold

Machinery: 2 Allis Chalmers compound, inverted, reciprocating steam engines; 2 Page & Burton watertube boilers; 1,000 SHP; twin propellers.

Performance & Endurance:

        Max: 11.0 knots
        Cruising: 10.0 knots; 1,800 mile range

Deck Gear: 20-ton capacity boom

Complement: 28

Armament: None (1927); 1 x 3"/50; 2 x 20mm/80, single-mount (1945)

Electronics: SO-1 sonar; unknown radar.

Class History:    

The Lupine was a Speedwell-class mine planter originally built for the U.S. Army in 1918 and 1919.  Six were transferred to the U.S. Lighthouse Service at no cost in 1922.  The original intent was for these vessels to serve a dual purpose: mine-planter in case of a war, and lighthouse tender during peacetime.  Unfortunately, this conversion proved to be impracticable and too expensive and they were modified exclusively for service as tenders at a cost of between $41,022 to $110,963.  Each had a turtleback forecastle installed and their anchors were mounted high to prevent the ship from being hung up on buoys she was servicing.  A steel main deck was added forward; new windows were installed in the pilothouse, and a new refrigerating plant was added.  All vessels were then commissioned from 1923 to 1927 with new names.

Tender History:  

The Lupine was assigned to the 18th Lighthouse District and was based out of San Francisco.  She received the designation and hull number WAGL-230 in January 1942.

She transferred to the 11th Naval District in 1943 and was based out of San Pedro, California.  She was decommissioned on 7 January 1947 and was sold.


Douglas Peterson.  United States Lighthouse Service Tenders, 1840-1939. Annapolis: Eastwind Publishing, 2000.

Robert Scheina.  U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II.  Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1982.